Tasty Ideas for Sushi Day

Whether you dine on sushi once a week or you've never tasted a bite in your entire life, there's no better time to delight in this Japanese delicacy than Sushi Day, a holiday celebrated every June 18 since 2009. If you're planning to commemorate the holiday this year by serving up some sushi for your friends and family, try the following tasty ideas for Sushi Day.

California roll

Perhaps the simplest and most popular sushi roll you can make on Sushi Day is the California roll. Invented in Los Angeles in the 1960s, the California roll contains only a handful of ingredients, so serving it on Sushi Day is sure to please even the pickiest of guests. To make a California roll you need:

  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into thin strips
  • 6 imitation crab sticks, sliced in half
  • 1 cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • 6 sheets nori seaweed, toasted
  • 5 cups cooked sushi rice
  • 1 jar wasabi paste
  • Bamboo mat

To make a California roll, take a sheet of nori seaweed and place the shiny side down on the bamboo mat. Spread one layer of sushi rice evenly over the nori, leaving a 3/4-inch strip without rice at the top. Don't pack too much sushi rice onto the seaweed, as over-filling can cause it to split if it is too full when you begin to roll it.

Using your thumb, make a shallow indentation in the rice, and spread a thin layer of wasabi into the crevice. Next, place two pieces of avocado over the wasabi, followed by two crab sticks and a couple strips of cucumber.

Use the bamboo mat to carefully roll the seaweed and its filling into a tube, and allow the roll to rest for one minute before cutting it into four to six individual slices. Serve the rolls on a decorative plate with a side of ginger, wasabi and soy sauce. Makes 6 rolls.

Spicy tuna roll

For guests at your Sushi Day party who aren't afraid to devour a few bites of seafood, kick your menu up a notch or two by adding a spicy tuna roll to the mix. To make a spicy tuna roll you will need:

  • 1/2 lb. sashimi-grade ahi tuna (yellowfin)
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. white sesame seeds
  • 4 sheets nori seaweed, toasted
  • 6 cups of cooked sushi rice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground, dried red chili pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Bamboo mat

Start by chopping your sashimi-grade tuna into half-inch cubes and mixing it in a bowl with the mayonnaise and dried red chili pepper. Next, place a sheet of nori shiny side down onto your bamboo mat. Spread one layer of sushi rice onto the nori, and pat it down lightly until it sticks. Sprinkle a pinch or two of white sesame seeds onto the surface of the rice. Next, take several cubes of seasoned tuna and lay them lengthwise on top of the rice.

Using your bamboo mat, gently roll the seaweed, rice and tuna cubes into a cylinder. Allow the roll to rest for one minute before cutting it into bite-size slices using a moistened knife. Serve your spicy tuna roll slices with a side of soy sauce or a dish of leftover spicy mayo mixture. Makes 4 rolls.

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